Yin & Yang

Feng Shui aims to achieve a balance of the opposing characteristics in the world around you, which are known as yin and yang. According to the yin and yang theory, everything in the universe consists of two opposing, but interconnected, forces: yin, which is feminine, and yang, which is masculine. Yin qualities are female, soft, passive, nurturing, dark, while the yang qualities are male, hard, active, aggressive, bright. The theory of yin and yang is one of the ways you can use Feng Shui to balance your interior surroundings.

Yin and yang are the everyday opposites you see in your home and office: soft and hard, cold and hot, dark and light. Yin and yang exist in nature, in buildings, and in individual rooms. According to Feng Shui principles, it is the appropriate interaction of these two forces that creates harmony around you.

For example, if you paint a room a dark color, keep it cold, keep your children and pets out of it and rarely use it, it becomes yin. However, if you paint the same room a light color, turn up the temperature, and invite your friends, neighbors, and pets to join you in using it, it becomes yang.

In most cases you balance yin and yang naturally and instinctively in your home: you add soft seat cushions to hard wooden chairs; if the bathwater gets too hot, you turn on the cold; you paint one wall a darker accent color to keep an all-white room from looking too bland. That's because when these two equal and opposite forces are in balance in our interior surroundings, you feel comfortable, secure, and at peace. Each aspect of your life has yin and yang attributes that you need to balance.

The universal symbol for yin and yang which is a circle with a curved line in the middle that divides the black and white halves of the circle, with a spot of each opposite color on the opposite side.

When we explain these two forces in terms of the Feng Shui Elements, yin is represented by the color black, which is the Water Element, and the passive energy of silence, darkness, and slow, relaxed movements. This is the predominant energy at night when you go to sleep, or when you need to relax and replenish your energies, so it is often appropriate for bedrooms.

On the other hand, yang is represented by the color white, which is the Metal Element. It is the strong energy characterized by vibrant sounds and colors, bright lights, and upward moving energy. In Feng Shui, we would use yang energy in decorating a family room or a busy office.

The yin-yang balance is especially important in the workplace where all too often we find ourselves working in less than optimal Feng Shui conditions. The typical office today is filled with computers, bright florescent lighting, hard shiny floors, metal filing cabinets and desks, and ringing phones that can result in strain, tension, irritability, and feelings of isolation. It is hard to feel creative in this kind of workplace because there is too much harsh yang energy. A little bit of yin energy balance, in the form of soft fabrics, desk and floor lamps instead of overhead lighting, wood file cabinets, and some soothing colors on the walls would go a long way to balance this space.


Adjusting Yin and Yang
If the energy in your home or office just doesn't feel right, chances are good it is caused by a problem with the yin-yang balance. Fortunately, there are simple ways to add the attributes of yin and yang and restore balance.

Does your space need more yin? If you want to create a space that is more relaxed and focused, add:
curves and flowing shapes
dark colors
upholstered furniture
shades on the windows
rugs on the floors
rooms with lots of furniture

Does you space need more yang? If you want to create a space full of energy and excitement, add:
straight lines and angular shapes
light and bright colors
furniture made from wood, glass, or stone
track lighting and bright lights
wood blinds
floors made from wood, marble, tile
rooms with few pieces of furniture

Symbolism

Yin and Yang can further be explained as a duality that cannot exist without both parts. Here is a list of some of the many opposites that are contained in such a simple symbol.

Yin - (The Black Portion): Passive, Cold, Death, Winter, Female, Night, Even, Moon, Water

Yang - (The White Portion): Active, Hot, Life, Summer, Male, Day, Odd, Sun, Fire

Within Yang, there is a spot of Yin and vice-versa. Just as in the heart of winter, a seed lays in wait to become life, so is Yang waited within Yin for its turn. In a hot summer, a sudden desert storm can bring coolness. This too is an example of how Yin is found in Yang.

Thus we also observe that the separation of the circle (symbolising the earth or alternatively, the full circle of life) is not cut into straight halves. They are curved and they alternatively advance and accommodate into each other, depicting the alternation.

Again, there are no absolutes, just cycles in time. This early philosophy of nature, the complementary alternating forces of Yin and Yang, dark and light, female and male, which maintain the balance of the cosmos, are the foundation of Feng

shui.

 

Uniqueness

Yin and Yang are dependent opposites that must always be in balance. The opposites flow in a natural cycle always replacing the other. Just as the seasons cycle and create times of heat and cold, Yin and Yang cycles through active and passive, dark and light, etc. Yin and Yang evolved from a belief of mutually dependent opposites that cannot live without the other. More interestingly, there are little cons in every pro and vice versa. Nothing is total.

The Eastern view of opposites is, excuse the pun, is the opposite of a Western view. Western philosophy tends to look as things as black or white, right "or" wrong, etc. There is separation and unrelatedness in the Western perspective. Whereas, the Chinese view is not opposites, it's perspective. Everything is as evolving and cycling. There is neither right or wrong

The Yin and Yang for the Home

The list has given us a few interpretations of Yin and Yang. Each of this needs to be founded or instituted in a particular area in the house, depending upon its relevance and prominence. For example, the night stays in the inner rooms (the energies of the house are concentrated in the bedroom and kitchen), thus it is a Yin stronghold. On the other hand, the day stays in the outer rooms (the energies of the house are concentrated in the drawing room, study or the porch).

Thus, the directional placement and arrangement of the house has to be in a way, that Yin and Yang are placed properly. For example, as Yang is light, the house should open towards a source of light and not towards a source of water as the prosperity may 'flow' away. Many such calculations are based on Yin and Yang 'residences'. However, there are many other factors like the five elements, directions and magnetism that work closely with Yin and Yang in Feng Shui.

Yin and Yang affect your home and the way you decorate it. Read about some common negative problems with houses, and the solutions for them.

The use of Yin and Yang here is to illustrate that your house does not become too dark. On the other hand, in a big garden, shrubs, rose arches and rockeries can have a pleasing effect on a flat landscape

Dense Foliage Around a House: Heavy Yin Influence

  • The Situation
    You can sometimes sense darkness - both physical and atmospheric - which results from dense foliage, overgrown hedges and close proximity to a woodland.
  • The Effects
    This stifles Yang, which is represented by light and creates a stuffy and heavy atmosphere in the house.
  • The Solution
    The foliage should be cut back to reduce the negative effects of Yin. Where possible, more windows should be added. If this is not possible, light curtains should be used and drawn beyond the edge of the window where they open.
 

A house has too many windows: Heavy Yang Influence

  • The Situation
    Too many windows in the house increase the Yang influence.

  • The Effects
    This has the effect of allowing in too much light which can make the occupants of the house ill tempered. Air from all directions mixes together and disrupts the energy flow in the house.

  • The Solution
    Some windows should be kept shut and curtains should be used to prevent too much light from coming in.

 

Presence of an Object Outside the Window

  • The Situation
    The main window or door overlooks a satellite dish or any other object.
  • The Effects
    Energy from this house is lost.
  • The Solution
    A potted plant should be kept on the window sill. It is not necessary to keep the curtains drawn.
 

Window Overlooking a Clothe's line

  • The Situation
    A window overlooks a clothesline, which is closer than 30 metres.
  • The Effects
    This gives too much Yin if the clothes are women's clothes and undergarments. This usually has a bad implication, as the occupants will not be able to save money.
  • The Solution
    Place the curtains on either side of the window, but you need not draw them. Avoid the temptation to overspend.


We recommend you to read our articles on Vastu Dosh to gain more knowledge.
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"Chaos is peaceful when you stand quietly and watch, we are eternal observers, reflecting both tiny and vast, singing infinitely within."- Jay Woodman